Quality of Life Comparisons Among Advanced Democracies - Population Statistics and Introduction

Policy Areas

InternationalComparisons.org is the most comprehensive and up-to-date research site on advanced democracies. We provide objective information for academics, students, journalists and others on international quality of life indicators. Over the past decade we have developed the following features:

  • hundreds of quantitative and qualitative statistics on 33 category pages
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  • statistics in table format and graphs available for every quantitative statistic
  • extensive notes and links to complement and substantiate the data
  • show how international comparisons work, and should work, with evaluative statistics and information

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About International Comparisons

Internationalcomparisons.org compares different quality of life factors among 12 of the most advanced democracies in the world to evaluate where the United States stands in relation to those advanced democracies. Our national evaluation indicators include statistics and data from various sources to compare such standard quality of life elements as:

With this information, we test the following hypothesis:

The United States is the least developed of the advanced democracies in most areas.

The US has high personal income, high productivity, large houses, and ample higher education; however, it is the most militarized nation, has the highest population growth, the most uneven distribution of income, mediocre basic education, the lowest health status, the highest health care costs, much higher crime, less leisure time, more abortion & teen pregnancy, and a lower status for women. The United States is the least environmentally sustainable of the advanced democracies, the most polluting, and the most dependent on fossil fuel.

Sherman Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Political Science
California State University East Bay, Hayward

Dustyn Bindel, Research Assistant

Countries covered: 2007 population
Australia 20,785,977
Canada 32,821,600
Denmark 5,460,956
France 61,525,111
Germany 82,730,805
Italy 58,753,888
Japan 127,693,678
Netherlands 16,365,433
Norway 4,679,442
Sweden 9,119,047
United Kingdom 60,820,900
Total 480,756,837
United States 301,139,936
Data Source: OECD, OEDC.stat*


European Union - In 1957 10 European countries signed the Treaty of Rome forming the EU. By 2007 the EU had 27 countries and 490 million people. The EU has a unified currency (the Euro, with the exception of the U.K.), open borders, free trade, free capital and a coordinated foreign policy. The EU requires applicants to meet requirements for democracy and institutional reform.

Race - This guide has no international information about race because international statistics are hard to find and because class and ethnic conflict are much more important. I agree with Wolff et al. (see Human Development Index sources):

"…society's most visible problems do not stem primarily from race; they stem from poverty…. The poor, both black and white, share the same approximate rates of crime, welfare, teenage and single parenthood, substance abuse and other social problems."

Discrimination related to race increases poverty among minorities, but America's statistics for whites are worse than Europe's. Despite growth of an American black middle and upper class, American blacks in general are doing worse than whites in health, education, crime, and income. American Hispanics and Indians also have serious poverty problems, while Asian Americans are generally even with whites.

Economic indices

  Economic Performance
  International Competitiveness 1
  International Competitiveness 2

Environmental indices

  Energy Sources
  Environmental Sustainability
  Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Multidimensional indices

  General Performance

Political indices

  Health Regulation
  International Aid
  Rule of Law 1
  Rule of Law 2
  Voter Turnout
  International Treaties

Social indices

  Child Welfare 1
  Child Welfare 2
  Crime Statistics
  Education K-12
  Education 13+
  Gender Equality
  Health Care
  Health Status
  Income Distribution
  Lifestyle Risks
  Sexual Health
  Social Justice
  Teen Pregnancy
  Work and Leisure

*Source: OECD